View Full Version : Toyota Takoma

11-04-2005, 05:14 PM
I need some feedback on used toyota trucks, anyone have one?

Is 4WD worth buying in a used truck?

Whats the repair record?

Thanks, Hugh

11-04-2005, 05:39 PM
Hugh, if you don't get enough info from the folks here, you can get back issues of Consumer Reports in the reference section of your public library. They're bound together by model years and are evaluated using criteria very similar to what you've asked.

Toyota Tacomas seem to have a pretty good record.

11-04-2005, 05:43 PM
Or perhaps edmunds (http://www.edmunds.com)

They have quite a bit of info there too.

Farmer Diddley
11-04-2005, 05:58 PM
This probably isn't the type of advice you're looking for, but here goes:

Ask yourself the question... do you REALLY need 4WD? I was looking for a used pickup a few years back. I started looking for a 6 cylinder, 4WD. I couldn't find anything half-way decent for under $10K. So I kept looking; and thinking. And the more I thought about it, the more I realized all I needed the truck for was trips to the lumber yard, the dump, the big blue box store (not the orange one), and for tranporting my kayaks to and from the lake. So I started looking for used trucks, w/ 4 cylinders, 2WD. I found a Ford Ranger, in great shape, 45,000 miles for $4700. I've had it for almost 3 years and couldn't be happier with it.

I think most folks tend to buy bigger, more powerful trucks than they really need. My 2 cents.

Best of luck.

11-04-2005, 06:02 PM
Mine's a 1990 with 225K on the meter. Based on the longevity of others around here, I fully expect to hit 300K. I'm on the second clutch, second muffler, and third set of brakes. This car doesn't owe me a nickel.

The 4wd system hasn't ever even hinted at being a problem, despite a bit of low-range dry pavement abuse. I should say, though, that I have the older grab-the-shifer-and-yank kind of transfer case. I'm leery of pushbutton-controlled systems, though I must say I haven't heard of any problems.

Toyota's ergonomics aren't really topshelf, but if you can deal with that, take solace in the fact that fewer gadgets means fewer annoying little things to break as the vehicle ages. Think of it as the Anti-Volkswagon.

Edited to add: Farmer makes an excellent point. My only gripe with my truck is that I just don't need all of its capabilities any more, but it just refuses to die and let me get into something more efficient.

Good friend of mine in VT always had 4wd vehicles one after another until last year when one died and he was short of cash. He wound up in a 2wd pickup with studded tires for winter and is happy as a clam.

[ 11-04-2005, 06:05 PM: Message edited by: Figment ]

11-04-2005, 06:16 PM
The Toyota record is unsurpassed. Those drive trains are fricken bullet proof, and matter of course run a quarter million miles. I'm not sure why, and, occasionally they don't, but on average, what a set of wheels.

As to four wheel drive. A rear wheel is just fine. But I learned to drive in snow on really slick roads in NE Ohio. They ain't necessary. And they give a damdable sense of security. I'm mad about that, Hon, because the idiot in the four wheeler is the idiot that hits you when on ice, thinking some security.

A locking differential is very useful.

11-04-2005, 06:49 PM
I drive a Mazda pickup. The only reason it's not a Tacoma instead is because I can't afford one.

11-04-2005, 07:02 PM
I wouldn't want a pickup without it, because it doesn't take much to get one stuck. Why doesn't anyone make a front-wheel-drive pickup? 4WD is REQUIRED for launching from boat ramps, of course. And low range would be useful even without 4WD.

Paul Pless
11-04-2005, 07:15 PM
what Victor said, I've seen 2wd trucks get stuck on wet grass.

[ 11-04-2005, 07:15 PM: Message edited by: Paul Pless ]

11-04-2005, 08:19 PM
I've got a 2000 Tacoma ExtraCab, 2WD, 5 speed, 4 cylinder.

I haven't yet found myself in a situation where 4WD would have been more useful than chaining up for a few minutes. Likewise, the small engine hasn't really been a drawback. My mileage is somewhere around 27 MPG.


Peter Malcolm Jardine
11-04-2005, 09:12 PM
I sold both Honda and Toyota vehicles.

The local Amsoil franchisee around here has Toyota trucks. He currently owns a 2001 access cab 4WD V6 Tacoma. The last one he had was essentially the same truck, only a 1993. He has access to oil analysis through Amsoil, and used synthetic throughout it's life. He told me that not only do these motors last, they do it through absolutely superior wear characteristics. He sold his 93 with 535,000 Kilometres on it, and got 8500 Canadian for it as a result of two guys fighting over it and bidding it up from the original $8000 he was asking.

The crazy thing about these trucks is the dollars they command at what I would consider the end of their life... but their lives are LONG. ANY Toyota 4wd Tacoma in running condition is worth three grand canuck. Anything decent, regardless of miles is worth five.

Things to watch:

The V6 has a timing belt that should be changed every 100k miles. Failure to do this isn't a big deal since they have freewheeling engines.... (pistons and valves don't overlap each other)

A dealer serviced truck is worth extra, even with high miles, because you can get the dealer printout. Both Honda and Toyota tend to overservice their vehicles, contributing to the myth of longevity. A dealer serviced truck will likely last almost forever. :rolleyes:

Five thousand pounds is their towing capacity, but on the old 3.4 litre V6 (183 hp) you'll have lousy acceleration. This motor lasts a long time because they don't ask much of it.

The OLD trucks with the 22R four cylinder are great, but lightly powered. In saying that, that motor is damn near indestructible. For a two litre engine, I've personally seen them at nearly factory compression at 300,000 miles. I've seen them go 400,000 MILES plus without rebuild.

The Tacoma is also great in the bush, because it's small, relatively light, and uses articulated axles in the front, like a CV joint.

Keep them lubricated properly. They like it, and will pay you back.

The only downfall of the Tacoma is that it doesn't handle really well, especially with big ass tires on it.

I have a 2000 4Runner,(a tacoma chassis SUV that year) with 210,000 km (130,000 miles) and I have done mixed mileage with it. I am just about to do the brakes for the first time. I did the starter solenoids once, and NOTHING else except Toyota recommended maintenance. I don't sell them anymore, but damn these guys make good vehicles. ;)

[ 11-04-2005, 09:15 PM: Message edited by: Peter Malcolm Jardine ]

11-04-2005, 10:53 PM
Originally posted by Peter Malcolm Jardine:

The V6 has a timing belt that should be changed every 100k miles. Failure to do this isn't a big deal since they have freewheeling engines.... (pistons and valves don't overlap each other)You sure about that, Peter?
I have the 3VZE (3.0 V6), which to my knowlege IS an "intereference engine". Belt change is at 60,000 miles. Perhaps the 3.4L is different.

[ 11-04-2005, 10:55 PM: Message edited by: Figment ]

11-04-2005, 11:22 PM
You cannot beat Toyotas for reliability. My record:
1981 Tercel: owned for over ten years and 183,000 with really poor maintainance (oil changes few and far between, etc)

1985 2wd truck: gave it to my brother in law in 2000 with over 240,000 miles on it, only failure was a bad thermostat once. Did better on the maintainance with this one. Still going.

1991 Camry: gave this one to my brother in 2004 with around 230,000 miles. I had finally learned to maintain properly, this one got regular oil changes every 5000 miles and other scheduled service. Other than one small rust spot, this thing still looked practically new inside and out. Still going.

1999 2wd Tacoma: My current truck. 70,000 miles and looks like new. Has not yet had any trouble, and I don't anticipate anything.

2005 Scion xB: My wife's daily commuter (essentially a Toyota Echo) One year and 15,000 miles of completely trouble free, high milage (34-37 mpg) driving.

So I tend to be a bit of a Toyota fanatic. As long as they have something that suits my needs, I'll be buying from them.

The Tacoma has always had the highest reliability rating for small trucks. The 2wd is best, the 4wd a little lower but still high.

Get one, you won't be sorry.

Matt J.
11-05-2005, 07:45 AM
I drive an'04 Tacoma, V6, 4WD with the Toyota Racing Development package (needed the rear axle lock and stiffer suspension).

No complaints except it's not a Jeep... ;) It'll doubtless run well over a quarter million miles. First oil change I did out of stubborness, but the oil I took out after 5k look exactly like the oil I put in... it was that clean. I took some to work to prove it to the guys. There was some old oil in the container I pulled it from, so it wasn't even that perfect by then, but the guys at work were in disbelief.

I tihnk it handles great, though it's no sports car. The Jeep I occasionally drive does feel like a sports car in comparison (handling and acceleration, until top end, wher the Taco is better... the Taco also has the Jeep beat badly in braking).

I use 4WD, so despite anyone's simplistic tendencies, when you need it, you need it. I just drive like I don't have it and it's been long while since I was stuck.

GREAT trucks. New ones look stupid, though.

11-05-2005, 08:42 AM
I have an 04 Tacoma two wheel drive, fourcylinder, five speed manual drive. Haul a couple boats with it. A friend advised me to get the manual drive as I planned to haul with it. It's a great little truck. Reason I bought a Toyota were: I've previously owned three Toyotas . . . absolutely couldn't kill them. Bought one with 175,000 miles on it, put another 150,000 miles on it before it crapped out. The best rated cars/trucks at Consmer Repts. tend to be Toyota, Honda, Nissan. Toyota has better crash testing that the others I believe. All have very favorable repair records. The Tacoma manual shift is quite affordable compared to others. The bigger Tundra sucks up gas, as do all the bigger six cylinder trucks. Go with the Tacoma if you don't need major hauling power. You can subscribe to Comsumer Reports on line for ratings, but even better, you can get a print-out on what the dealer actually pays for his trucks/with suggestions as to where to start your offer. It's well worth while to subscribe. Saved me $1,000 or more when I bought my new one. Or you could buy a Ford 150 and watch it catch on fire spontaneously in your garage. smile.gif

11-05-2005, 09:50 AM
So what is it about Toyotas? The drivetrains aren't built in Japan anymore, are they? Why can't GM or Ford make a better mousetrap, or as good?

Inquiring minds want to know.

Hal Forsen
11-05-2005, 11:09 AM
Oh what a feeling!
I have an '86 2wd Toy with a 22R and it's close to 300,000 miles and still getting about 20 mpg and runs like a top. It was the bottom of the line(it didn't even have a radio) and I paid $6400 cash new. It's been all over the US and 3000+ miles into Mexico, it's been stolen and returned and it's even got a groovy camo paint job and homemade shell. It's currently used as the work and surf truck but eventually I plan on giving it to my nephew.
We recently got a brand spanking new 4wd V8 Tundra with leather, a 6 disc cd changer and all the other bells and whistles and I have to say I LOVE it. It was not $6400 but I figure if it's built anything like the old one then it's worth what we had to pay.
You can't go wrong with Toyota if you ask me.


11-05-2005, 10:53 PM
Thanks for all the advice and testimonials! smile.gif

I havent seen any complaints about rust.

I plan on finding an older 2WD extended cab and driving it into the ground. Sounds like it will outlast me, thats OK!

Cheers, Hugh

11-06-2005, 12:49 PM
thats what you think, if you buy a 22R, you won't be able to run it into the grownd.

that is unless the frame rusts to sh*t, and breaks in half, yep that was an interesting day smile.gif


11-06-2005, 08:26 PM
On the subject of rust, I had a '76 Corona that died of it in '89. It also had a 22R that was still running (not just capable, but actually running) when I left it in the junk yard parking lot.

My impression is that the more modern steel is much more rust resistant. I have a nick or two in the paint, but they're showing very little sign of getting cancer. This may be an industry wide advance.


11-07-2005, 11:38 AM
Originally posted by Hughman:

I havent seen any complaints about rust.
Well, I have some rust at the rear fenders and on the tailgate. The hood has been saved by the use of a bug (and highway pebble) deflector.

But it's hard to justify a complaint about body rust that only appeared after 180K miles, when a lot of other trucks would've already been on their second engine.

Ross M
11-07-2005, 12:38 PM
Originally posted by ishmael:
So what is it about Toyotas? The drivetrains aren't built in Japan anymore, are they? Why can't GM or Ford make a better mousetrap, or as good?

Inquiring minds want to know.Read "The Machine That Changed The World". It's cheap, terribly interesting and authoritative.

I suspect that the answer to your question lies in the Nagoya culture, particularly in it's predilection for efficiency and frugality.

A few key points about the Toyota culture:

a) Information content determines the end value of the product.

b) Know the cost of everything, backwards and forwards.

c) Own an interest in suppliers - literally.

d) Defer key decisions to the last appropriate moment - the organization learns as time passes, therefore later decisions are superior.

e) Make stuff as needed, and don't make much at any one time. This way component improvements can be implemented when discovered, instead of when the current (inferior) supply is exhausted.


Edited to add a key difference exposed in the book, from a manufacturing perspective: Japanese tend to automate simple, repetitive, mind-numbing tasks first - saving humans for complex operations. American manufacturers tend to the opposite, in an attempt to reduce skilled labor requirements.

[ 11-07-2005, 02:04 PM: Message edited by: Ross M ]

11-07-2005, 12:58 PM
I am just starting to see a little rust at the bottom of the tailgate of my 95 Tacoma. The beast is 2wd with a 5 speed manual transmission and 4 cyl engine. It has a little over 200k on the odometer and has been up and down the east coast several times. It has had a tendency to develope cracked windshields and I am now on my third! Aside from that, it survived a spinout one icy morning on the Baltimore Beltway where it impacted on the jerseywall with both ends. A little bodywork and she's back on the road again.
I now have a little Elantra for back and forth to work, but I won't part with my Tacoma!